SDCC 2009: “And the Eisner Goes to…”

Last night at a ceremony in San Diego, the winners of the 2009 Eisner Awards were announced. Here is a full listing of the nominees with the winners in bold:

Best Short Story

  • “Actual Size” by Chris Ware, in Kramers Ergot 7 (Buenaventura Press)
  • “Chechen War, Chechen Women,” by Joe Sacco, in I Live Here (Pantheon)
  • “Freaks,” by Laura Park, in Superior Showcase #3 (AdHouse)
  • “Glenn Ganges in ‘Pulverize,'” by Kevin Huizenga, in Ganges #2 (Fantagraphics)
  • “Murder He Wrote,” by Ian Boothby, Nina Matsumoto, and Andrew Pepoy, in The Simpsons’ Treehouse of Horror #14 (Bongo)

Best Continuing Series

  • All Star Superman. by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely (DC)
  • Fables,  by Bill Willingham, Mark Buckingham, Steve Leialoha, Niko Henrichon, Andrew Pepoy, and Peter Gross (Vertigo/DC)
  • Naoki Urasawa’s Monster, by Naoki Urasawa (Viz)
  • Thor, by J. Michael Straczynski, Olivier Coipel, Mark Morales, and various (Marvel)
  • Usagi Yojimbo, by Stan Sakai (Dark Horse)

Best Limited Series

  • Groo: Hell on Earth, by Sergio Aragonés and Mark Evanier (Dark Horse)
  • Hellboy: The Crooked Man, by Mike Mignola and Richard Corben (Dark Horse)
  • Locke & Key, by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez (IDW)
  • Omega the Unknown, by Jonathan Lethem, Karl Rusnak, and Farel Dalrymple (Marvel)
  • The Twelve, by J. Michael Straczynski and Chris Weston (Marvel)

Best New Series

  • Air, by. G. Willow Wilson and M. K. Perker (Vertigo/DC)
  • Echo, by Terry Moore (Abstract Studio)
  • Invincible Iron Man, by Matt Fraction and Salvador Larocca (Marvel)
  • Madame Xanadu, by Matt Wagner, Amy Reeder Hadley, and Richard Friend (Vertigo/DC)
  • Unknown Soldier, by Joshua Dysart and Alberto Ponticelli (Vertigo/DC)

Best Publication for Kids

  • Amulet, Book 1: The Stonekeeper, by Kazu Kabuishi (Scholastic Graphix)
  • Cowa! by Akira Toriyama  (Viz)
  • Princess at Midnight, by Andi Watson (Image)
  • Stinky, by Eleanor Davis (RAW Junior)
  • Tiny Titans, by Art Baltazar and Franco (DC)

Best Publication for Teens/Tweens

  • Coraline, by Neil Gaiman, adapted by P. Craig Russell (HarperCollins Children’s Books)
  • Crogan’s Vengeance, by Chris Schweizer (Oni)
  • The Good Neighbors, Book 1: Kin, by Holly Black and Ted Naifeh (Scholastic Graphix)
  • Rapunzel’s Revenge, by Shannon and Dean Hale and Nathan Hale (Bloomsbury Children’s Books)
  • Skim, by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki (Groundwood Books)

Best Humor Publication

  • Arsenic Lullaby Pulp Edition No. Zero, by Douglas Paszkiewicz (Arsenic Lullaby)
  • Chumble Spuzz, by Ethan Nicolle (SLG)
  • Herbie Archives, by “Sean O’Shea” (Richard E. Hughes) and Ogden Whitney (Dark Horse)
  • Petey and Pussy, by John Kerschbaum (Fantagraphics)
  • Wondermark: Beards of Our Forefathers, by David Malki (Dark Horse)

Best Anthology

  • An Anthology of Graphic Fiction, Cartoons, and True Stories, vol. 2, edited by Ivan Brunetti (Yale University Press)
  • Best American Comics 2008, edited by Lynda Barry (Houghton Mifflin)
  • Comic Book Tattoo: Narrative Art Inspired by the Lyrics and Music of Tori Amos, edited by Rantz Hoseley (Image)
  • Kramers Ergot 7, edited by Sammy Harkham (Buenaventura Press)
  • MySpace Dark Horse Presents, edited by Scott Allie and Sierra Hahn (Dark Horse)

Best Digital Comic

Best Reality-Based Work

  • Alan’s War, by Emmanuel Guibert (First Second)
  • Blue Pills: A Positive Love Story, by Frederik Peeters (Houghton Mifflin)
  • Fishtown, by Kevin Colden (IDW)
  • A Treasury of XXth Century Murder: The Lindbergh Child, by Rick Geary (NBM)
  • What It Is, by Lynda Barry (Drawn & Quarterly)

Best Graphic Album—New 

  • Alan’s War, by Emmanuel Guibert (First Second)
  • Paul Goes Fishing, by Michel Rabagliati (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • Skim, by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki (Groundwood Books)
  • Swallow Me Whole, by Nate Powell (Top Shelf)
  • Three Shadows, by Cyril Pedrosa (First Second)

Best Graphic Album—Reprint

  • Berlin Book 2: City of Smoke, by Jason Lutes (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • Hellboy Library Edition, vols. 1 and 2, by Mike Mignola (Dark Horse)
  • Sam & Max Surfin’ the Highway anniversary edition HC, by Steve Purcell (Telltale Games)
  • Skyscrapers of the Midwest, by Joshua W. Cotter (AdHouse)
  • The Umbrella Academy, vol. 1: Apocalypse Suite deluxe edition, by Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá (Dark Horse)

Best Archival Collection/Project—Strips

  • The Complete Little Orphan Annie, by Harold Gray (IDW)
  • Explainers, by Jules Feiffer (Fantagraphics)
  • Little Nemo in Slumberland, Many More Splendid Sundays, by Winsor McCay (Sunday Press Books)
  • Scorchy Smith and the Art of Noel Sickles, (IDW)
  • Willie & Joe, by Bill Mauldin (Fantagraphics)

Best Archival Collection/Project—Comic Books

  • Breakdowns: Portrait of the Artist as a Young %@&*! by Art Spiegelman (Pantheon)
  • Creepy Archives, by various (Dark Horse)
  • Elektra Omnibus, by Frank Miller and Bill Sienkiewicz (Marvel)
  • Good-Bye, by Yoshihiro Tatsumi (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • Herbie Archives, by “Sean O’Shea” (Richard E. Hughes) and Ogden Whitney (Dark Horse)

Best U.S. Edition of International Material

  • Alan’s War, by Emmanuel Guibert (First Second)
  • Gus and His Gang, by Chris Blain (First Second)
  • The Last Musketeer, by Jason (Fantagraphics)
  • The Rabbi’s Cat 2, by Joann Sfar (Pantheon)
  • Tamara Drewe, by Posy Simmonds (Mariner/Houghton Mifflin)

Best U.S. Edition of International Material—Japan

  • Cat Eyed Boy, by Kazuo Umezu (Viz)
  • Dororo, by Osamu Tezuka (Vertical)
  • Naoki Urasawa’s Monster, by Naoki Urasawa (Viz)
  • The Quest for the Missing Girl, by Jiro Taniguchi (Fanfare/Ponent Mon)
  • Solanin, by Inio Asano (Viz)

Best Writer

  • Joe Hill, Lock & Key (IDW)
  • J. Michael Straczynski, Thor, The Twelve (Marvel)
  • Mariko Tamaki, Skim (Groundwood Books)
  • Matt Wagner, Zorro (Dynamite); Madame Xanadu (Vertigo/DC)
  • Bill Willingham, Fables, House of Mystery (Vertigo/DC)

Best Writer/Artist

  • Ricky Geary, A Treasury of XXth Century Murder: The Lindbergh Child (NBM); J. Edgar Hoover (Hill & Wang)
  • Emmanuel Guibert, Alan’s War (First Second)
  • Jason Lutes, Berlin (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • Cyril Pedrosa, Three Shadows (First Second)
  • Nate Powell, Swallow Me Whole (Top Shelf)
  • Chris Ware, Acme Novelty Library (Acme)

Best Penciller/Inker or Penciller/Inker Team

  • Gabriel Bá, The Umbrella Academy (Dark Horse)
  • Mark Buckingham/Steve Leialoha, Fables (Vertigo/DC)
  • Olivier Coipel/Mark Morales, Thor (Marvel)
  • Guy Davis, BPRD (Dark Horse)
  • Amy Reeder Hadley/Richard Friend, Madame Xanadu (Vertigo/DC)
  • Jillian Tamaki, Skim (Groundwood Books)

Best Painter/Multimedia Artist

  • Lynda Barry, What It Is (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • Eddie Campbell, The Amazing Remarkable Monsieur Leotard (First Second)
  • Enrico Casarosa, The Venice Chronicles (Ateliér Fio/AdHouse)
  • Scott Morse, Tiger! Tiger! Tiger! (Red Window)
  • Jill Thompson, Magic TrixieMagic Trixie Sleeps Over (HarperCollins Children’s Books)

Best Cover Artist

  • Gabrial Bá, Casanova (Image); The Umbrella Academy (Dark Horse)
  • Jo Chen, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Serenity (Dark Horse); Runaways (Marvel)
  • Amy Reeder Hadley, Madame Xanadu (Vertigo/DC)
  • James Jean, Fables (Vertigo/DC); The Umbrella Academy (Dark Horse)
  • Matt Wagner, Zorro (Dynamite); Grendel: Behold the Devil (Dark Horse)

Best Coloring

  • Steve Hamaker, Bone: Ghost Circles, Bone: Treasure Hunters (Scholastic Graphix)
  • Trish Mulvihill, Joker (DC), 100 Bullets (Vertigo/DC)
  • Val Staples, Criminal, Incognito (Marvel Icon)
  • Dave Stewart, Abe Sapien: The Drowning, BPRD, The Goon, Hellboy, Solomon Kane, The Unbrella Academy (Dark Horse); Body Bags (Image); Captain America: White (Marvel)
  • Chris Ware, Acme Novelty Library #19 (Acme)

Best Lettering

  • Farel Dalrymple, Omega: The Unknown (Marvel)
  • Jimmy Gownley, Amelia Rules! (Renaissance)
  • Scott Morse, Tiger! Tiger! Tiger! (Red Window)
  • Nate Powell, Swallow Me Whole (Top Shelf)
  • Chris Ware, Acme Novelty Library #19 (Acme)

Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism

Best Comics-Related Book

  • Bill Mauldin: A Life Up Front, by Todd DePastino (Norton) 
  • Brush with Passion: The Art and Life of Dave Stevens, edited by Arnie and Cathy Fenner (Underwood)
  • Drawing Words and Writing Pictures, by Jessica Abel and Matt Madden (First Second)
  • Kirby: King of Comics, by Mark Evanier (Abrams)
  • The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic-Book Scare and How It Changed America, by David Hajdu (Picador/Farrar, Straus & Giroux)

Best Publication Design

  • Breakdowns: Portrait of the Artist as a Young %@&*! designed by Art Spiegelman (Pantheon)
  • Comic Book Tattoo, designed by Tom Muller, art direction by Rantz Hoseley (Image)
  • Hellboy Library Editions, designed by Cary Grazzini and Mike Mignola (Dark Horse)
  • What It Is, designed by Lynda Barry (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • Willie and Joe, designed by Jacob Covey (Fantagraphics)

Hall of Fame: Judges’ choices

  • Harold Gray, Graham Ingels

Hall of Fame: Voters’ choices:

  • Matt Baker, Reed Crandall, Russ Heath, Jerry Iger

Will Eisner “Spirit of Comics” Retailer Award:

  • Tate’s Comics, Fort Launderdale, Florida, USA


  1. As a massive Simpsons fan, I now feel obligated to obtain a copy of that Treehouse of Horror issue.

    It looks like Hellboy cleaned up. I am sure that make Paul happy (me, too). 

  2. Joe Hill should’ve won best writer, in my opinion.

    LOCKE & KEY should’ve won best limited series as well.

    I could also make a strong case for Gabriel Ba winning best penciler.

    Outside of that, though, it seems pretty neat. Big ups to TINY TITANS for winning!

  3. Oh wow, props to Guy Davis on winning over such stiff competition, congrats to Willingham, And holy cow, I had no idea there was a new Windor McCay collection out. I gotta get that.

  4. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    Would’ve liked to see Joe Hill and Locke & Key pick up some awards as well. Incredible book. 

    A little disappointed that Three Shadows didn’t win in its category. The art in that book is absurdly good.

    That said, great to see the Hellboy and BPRD love! 

  5. In Fraction we trust.

  6. Wow, not one thing I read got nominated.  Excuse me if I purposely miss this awards show.

    Oh yeah, and how is All Star Superman an ongoing series.  It was over in 12 issues and I don’t think it was ever even planned to go any further.  Well at least they made it to 12 unlike All Star Batman.

  7. I always find myself saying Wow…..  ive only read like 30% of these books and the ones I do read dident win. Happens every year

  8. Very happy for Fraction, and for the wonderful Tiny Titans.  Both very deserving.  I’m happy for Comic Book Tattoo, too, though I don’t think there was ever any doubt that it would win.

  9. So many people bitched about JMS being nominated….So many people….and where did it get us? NOTHING!!!

    Happy for Hellboy getting a lot of awards, and writers/artists for the Hellboy universe also winning. Also, Kirby: King of Comics is the best biography to come out in a while. Other then that….I need to read more comics.

  10. I don’t think All-Star should be considering an Ongoing Series.  It’s a good book, but don’t think it should have been nominated for that award, and definitely shouldn’t have one.  Isn’t there a real ongoing series that deserves the award more?

  11. Glad to see CORALINE pick up the win here.  That book really is beautiful.  It’s weird to have one story told so well in three formats: prose, comics, and film.  It works all three ways.

    Good for TINY TITANS.  That book is really cute.

    I just requested SWALLOW ME WHOLE from the library.  No clue what it’s about but, hey, it won an Eisner.

  12. Tiny Titans is for kids? The average age of the people I’ve heard talk about that book is…like mid-30s. It’s weird.

    Regardless, the picks seem pretty good. But I guess someone needs to tell Morrison and Quitely that they weren’t supposed to stop All Star Superman at 12. Maybe All Star Superman will win next year too, since it’s "continuing", even if no issue comes out this year.

  13. Wow! Gonna have to pay more attention to BPRD apparently! Gratz to all concerned!

  14. Happy that all star superman won, even though it isn’t continueing. Was morrisson or quitely their to accept?

  15. Geoff Johns? Anywhere? The guy who owns eeeeeeeerrrrrrrrr writes for DC Comics…….. How can I take these nominations seriously when his name is absent?

  16. Wow. For the first time , the Eisners seem to reflect my reading choices. Ive actually read 14 of the winner books/creators. Havethe Eisners gone mainstream?
    Congratulations to Jill Thompson and comic book tattoo!

    The only problem now is that I used to look to the Eisner for new and interesting books to discover.

  17. Big ups to Chirs Ware, Rantz and the Comic Book Tattoo and Carla and the Finder team. Great comic, that one

  18. Is Swallow Me Whole that great?  Haven’t heard that much about it.

  19. Also, it seems almost unfair to have Chris Ware in the writer/artist category.  Obviously his work is consistently brilliant, but to me he’s more of a graphic/visual artist than a graphic novelist or storyteller.  Would it be fair to nominate a Liechtenstein art collection? 

  20. Ironman beats Echo? Really? I mean really?

  21. Iron Man was great the first 6 issues, perfect graphic novel.  Since then, it feels B-list.

  22. Its cool that Jason got best foreign reprint. I love Chris Ware, but in the writer/artist category i wish they want with someone a little less established like Guibert, Pedrosa and to a much lesser existent Lutes. How is the Herbie Archives eligible for best humor book when its a reprint? and why is it not in the reprint category?   

  23. @KickAss: But, better than Echo? Not that I have anything Fraction, I just find that hard to believe. 

  24. I love Echo, but the Iron Man win is solid. 

    I’m particularly happy about Guy Davis.  Every time I pick up one of his books it blows me away.

  25. Glad to see a lot of the Mignola inspired stuff get recognized, it has been fantastic as of late with the spin-offs and such.

    Some categories, as with any awards given, despite the medium, made me wonder what the hell the judges were on to even nominate some of these books, but for the most part, not as bad as previous Eisner awards have gone. Tons of books I’ve NEVER heard of as usual, and I tend to read a lot of stuff but that is to be expected.

    Congrats to Morrison and Quietly for the All-Star Superman win. One of the best books of the past 5 years. 

  26. Big congrats to the hugely talented Jill Thompson on her well-deserved win! And let’s hear it for Invincible Iron Man!

  27. Aw yeah, Tiny Titans won!

  28. @J4K3

    Amen to that, dude

  29. Congratulations to every winner and nominee, except for Morrison and Quitely.


    Yes, All-Star Superman was a great book BUT:

    a) TWO issues published since the 2008 Eisners; and


    Should it receive accolades and be celebrated as a pinnacle achievement in the superhero comic form? Yes. Should it have even been nominated in its category? No. No, no, no-fucking-way. No. Or since we’re dealing with two Scots: Nae, nae, Nae-fockin’-way. Nae.

    That said, I’ll be pre-ordering the Absolute. Great book, just not "Best Continuing Series." 

  30. @RobAbsten: There are no plans for an Absolute All Star Superman. Mike Romo asked about it at a panel here at San Diego and was told by Bob Wayne that he should glue the two hardcovers together.

  31. the best writer category is totally screwed, as much as i love fables the great crossover was awful and the last year has been slightly disappointing. How can Joe Kelly not be at least nominated??? Amazing Spider-man, I kill giants and Four eyes have been my favorite comics this year.

    Could it be that these titles won’t be in consideration till next year’s eisner’s?

  32. Awwww… I want an Absolute All-Star Superman… why do you hate me, DC? Still, glad it got the Eisner.

  33. They most likely will put out an Absolute Ed. eventually. You don’t get this many undue (only for the reasons RobAsten pointed out above) awards and not get a big deal kinda book eventually. Any DC reps will say, "nope" about it because so many are probably holding out on buying the hardcovers & TPBs that they want to sell more of those before making one in a new format.

    Either way, I did buy HC vol. 2 when it was pick of the month, but now can’t get a hold of vol. 1, so I hope this Eisner pushes them to put those back into print (though I’d rather it in Absolute since I think the sizing of the HC doesn’t do the art justice).

  34. I don’t remember where, but didn’t Morrison go on record saying he was planning on doing future "All-Star Superman" projects/issues with artists other than Quitely??

    I can’t remember where I read that but I remember reading it. Something about "Superman Vs. Satan" or something was mentioned by Morrison as a possible future issue.

    Maybe that’s why there’s no word on an Absolute yet??? 

  35. @conor: That’s actually not a bad idea.

  36. See? Invincible Iron Man won. What’d we tell ya?

  37. Um… Is there another body that puts out more legitimate awards for the industry? I admit that I’ve never followed the Eisners in the past, but I have a hard time believing that this list of nominations and winners recognized the best achievements out of Marvel or DC. Are the Eisners generally more legitimate, or are they pretty much always like this?

  38. @conor Yeah, I know there’s no plans for one at this time but I’m thinking long term, like 2013 or so. I already have the vol one HC and 7-12 in issues. Also, my retailer contacts have a theory that DC overprinted the second hardcover because of the unexpected success of the first and will wait for that inventory to sell before setting up another version (which may be a while since people like me are holding off for the Absolute. Vicious, meet circle. Circle, vicious).

    I’m patient. I’ll wait. And it’ll be gorgeous.


    @WonderManFan (really? Wonder Man? Neat.) The Eisners are pretty much the apex of comic awards and are always like this. There’s usually a good small press/indie and Big Two mix.  

  39. I think if anything, The Twelve, should have been nominated for best ONGOING SERIES, as I’ve been waiting on book 9 of 12 I believe for over five months, at least!!!

  40. very happy for, guy davis, very happy

  41. I couldn’t agree with you more on Stracynski and THE TWELVE, MrMidnight.  I got burned on JMS w/RISING STARS – never again.  Only buy him in trade with the exception of THOR (which of course he’s leaving – maybe doesn’t like haveing to stick to an oh-so-demanding schedule).

  42. Further reason why I think there will be an Absolute All Star Superman: there’s an Absolute of Superman: For Tomorrow; DC owes repirations to quality Supes comics.

  43. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    It’s pretty absurd that Absolute All-Star Superman isn’t in it’s 7th printing at this point. My only concern is that, upon opening it, the book may melt faces. Raiders style. 

  44. @Paul: Batman and Robin melts faces. Morrison’s ASS will make you rapidly age if you don’t like it.

  45. Morrison’s what now?

  46. @Tork: Ya heard me! 🙂